Optare announces frame partner

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WEC has commissioned a new factory adjacent to Optare’s Sherburn assembly plant

Optare has announced its intention of entering into a long term supply partnership with WEC Group, under which the production of bus structures will be outsourced.

The manufacturer envisages a formal agreement will be signed by the end of August and claims will improve efficiency at its new plant in Sherburn in Elmet, Yorkshire, as featured in CBW995.

WEC, a fabrication and engineering company based in Lancashire, has supplied Optare with kits of components to manufacture structures over the last two years.

Amanda McLaren, Optare’s supply chain director said: “In planning our new Sherburn plant we had a unique opportunity to start with a blank sheet of paper and re-design our entire build process to achieve the most flexible and efficient operation possible. This led us to a very natural decision to outsource frame fabrication and concentrate on the much higher added value elements of the assembly process.

“We are also delighted that, under the terms of our new partnership, that WEC will offer employment to those working within our existing Leeds fabrication shop.”

Steve Hartley, managing director of WEC, said: “This is a great deal for WEC and Optare since it allows both companies to focus on what they do best – Optare to build top quality buses and for us to fabricate the required range of structures in a controlled and highly efficient environment”.